Melissa HawesMelissa Hawes, MSN, RN, PCCN
Braunwald Tower 10BA, Medical Intermediate Care

The next generation of nurses is in good hands with Melissa Hawes, MSN, RN, PCCN, serving as a preceptor and clinical nursing instructor, say her colleagues on the Tower 10BA Nursing Practice Council.

“Melissa is an outstanding nurse and a true mentor for both experienced and newly licensed nurses,” wrote Practice Council members in their nomination of Hawes. “She leads by example, collaborates with multiple disciplines and focuses on outcome measures, all while maintaining a therapeutic relationship with her patients and their families.”

Hawes is frequently chosen as a preceptor for new nurses.

“New nurses often identify Melissa as a nurse they would like to emulate as they continue to grow their practice,” wrote Linda Delaporta, MSN, RN, nursing director, in a letter of support. “These nurses respect her for her skills, but it is her presence they hope to achieve.”

Bianca Iafrate, BSN, RN, recalls the way Hawes handled a challenging patient and family scenario while serving as Iafrate’s preceptor. “Melissa’s number one priority was to be an advocate for the patient,” Iafrate wrote. “She communicated with the family in a compassionate, empathetic way and did everything she could to ensure the patient received the best care.”

Hawes previously served as chair of the Practice Council, which was charged with developing and implementing an education plan for staff on the Falls TIPS. After implementation, falls on the unit decreased dramatically, and the research project was published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, with Hawes as one of the authors.

“Melissa is a lifelong learner who consistently seeks to expand her knowledge and practice,” wrote Delaporta. “The rapport she builds with patients often leads to improved outcomes.”

She recalled when a patient knocked on her door one day to tell her about the care that Hawes provided. “He essentially told me that Melissa saved his life with her kindness at a time when he was depressed about his diagnosis,” she said. “Melissa was able to connect with him and empathize in a meaningful way.”

Hawes began at the Brigham as a patient care assistant on Braunwald Tower 14CD before becoming a staff nurse. She received her master’s degree in nursing education from Framingham State University and her bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University. She also serves as an adjunct clinical nursing instructor at Northeastern University.